Our human body frame relies on bones for strength and a powerful base. But in our day-to-day hustling bustling lives, we often forget to look after our bone health. Lack of calcium for better bone health and vitamin D that helps in absorbing calcium can cause bone-related health issues like osteoporosis as we age. Even in kids, calcium, and vitamin deficiency can cause rickets.
Diet and exercise, clubbed with natural health supplements, can make the bones and joints healthier. Taking care of bone health becomes more important in elderlies, as their body cannot replace older bones with new ones as fast as it does in young people.
What impacts your bone health?
Before we get started with the food items that promote better bone health, it’s vital to know about our harmful habits that lead to poor bone health. Common factors that degrade bone density are:
- Lack of physical activity
- Calcium deficiency in the body
- Increased thyroid level
- Regular intake of alcohol and tobacco
- Eating disorders
- Medicinal side effects
- Less bone mass in thin people
- Past cases of osteoporosis in the family
All these reasons can contribute to sharp pain in your bones and joints, and even impact your body posture. They can lead to several other bone-related diseases that reflect once you are old. Keep in mind that bone development occurs till the age of 35, and after that, bone health starts to slow down and deteriorate. Therefore, it is vital for people of all age groups to include nutritious foods in their diet that promotes bone health. Now is the time to start looking after your bone strength.
Top 9 foods for stronger bones
1. Leafy Greens
What’s better to include in your daily diet than leafy green vegetables? Be it spinach or collard greens, they are powerhouses of nourishment containing a balanced level of nutrients that the human body needs. Everyone talks about how important vitamin D and calcium are for bone health, but we often forget magnesium and vitamin K. These vital bone nourishing minerals and vitamins are present in abundance in leafy vegetables. The European Journal of Epidemiology also notes in its 2017 study that magnesium plays a strong role in preventing fractures. So the next time you’re tossing some salad or making a sandwich, make sure to add the green here and there and reap its benefits in the longer run.
Pulses are a vital part of every cuisine around the globe and are consumed in both sweet and savoury food items. Some commonly used pulses include dry peas, lentils, chickpeas, and edible beans. These pulses are rich in antioxidants, plant protein and fibre. They also improve bone health by adding minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and manganese.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
These tiny punches of nutrition are a great source of magnesium, zinc, iron, and healthy fats. Along with the other minerals, zinc plays a vital role in keeping the bones strong and healthy. It produces a matrix of collagen protein threads that ensures bone mineralization. It also ensures that ruptured bones heal quickly. Low zinc content in the body directly links to osteoporosis, as per a study by Molecular and Cell Biochemistry.
4. Whole Grains
Several cultures around the world rely on wheat and rice for energy and sustenance. The most commonly used and widely available whole grains include oats, barley, whole wheat, brown rice, rye, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and cornmeal. These whole grains bring fibre, vitamin B, magnesium, and complex carbohydrates to the body. They also add more calories, reducing the need to metabolize proteins for energy. This reduction ensures lesser stress on muscle tissues, improving the overall muscle and bone health.
5. Dairy Products
Rich in calcium, dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt are crucial for maintaining healthy bone density. They improve bone structure and strength by adding a healthy amount of calcium content to the body. A cup of fat-free milk or plain yoghurt can be a healthy source of your daily calcium intake. Yoghurt also contains a high quantity of vitamin D that ensures further bone strengthening.
Protein is a key nutrient that ensures strong bone tissue health. Salmon is a great source of protein as well as DHA and EPA, which are also associated with good bone health and strength. Additionally, vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient. This means that the fat present in salmon can help your body absorb vitamin D better. Salmon’s omega-3 fatty acid content can also enhance calcium absorption rate and decrease bone breakdown by strengthening it.
For those who are looking for a vegan protein source, tofu can be an alternative. Soy products like edamame, soy milk, and tofu contain plant compounds that exhibit similarities to estrogen. Estrogen can help rebuild bones, so these soy foods accelerate the process further. A study in JNCI Cancer Spectrum in 2019 noted that 77% of women with higher soy intake showed a lesser risk of osteoporotic fractures. Tofu is also rich in isoflavones that can ward off bone diseases in women after menopause.
Dry fruits and nuts are also excellent sources of vitamin D, magnesium and calcium. They also contain protein, fibre and fat. Nuts like almonds, pistachios and sunflower seeds are very helpful in strengthening bones and preventing osteoporosis.
Rich in vitamin D, eggs facilitate calcium absorption from the intestinal tract. Sunlight also helps our body absorb vitamin D, but people rarely spend their time out in the sun these days. This is why having vitamin D rich food is a priority for maintaining solid bone health.
To Sum Up
Now that you’re determined to look after your bone health, remember that some food items do more harm than good to our body. Make sure to limit the following items in your daily diet:
You don’t have to stop taking these completely. Rather, regulate your intake and start taking care of your bones. You can also add natural supplements from Authentic Biotics to your daily routine and quickly see the impact on your bone health.